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Expert: Widespread Fear A Normal Response To Movie Theater Shooting

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – If there is a lull in box office attendance from the Aurora rampage, there’s a clinical diagnosis for that.

“It’s called ‘debriefing’; giving your body a chance to think about what’s happening,” said psychologist Dr. Craig West.

West says it’s okay to feel fear as far away as Sacramento.

“When we start hearing things about children being hurt, it could’ve been my baby. So we start thinking differently because it could have been us,” said Dr. West.

There is some analysis for moviegoers, but there will be more analyzing by police.

“It stands for mass casualty incident, exactly what you had at Aurora,” said Retired Sacramento police Lt. John Kane.

Kane wrote the book on critical incident response.

“Columbine, that was a real wake up call for cop, fire, medical around the country,” said Kane.

From the school ground to the movie theater, Kane says the Aurora attack will likely become another case study.

“We pull these things apart, we analyze them. Like any good group of professionals, we want to find out how we can be better at what we do,” said Kane.

But neither Kane nor West believes fear will have a lasting impact on the way we watch movies.

“It just happens to be he picked this one venue,” said Kane.

Dr. West counsels those now afraid of going to the movies to look at the situation logically.

“It’s okay; I’m not going to be harmed. Even though this person or the victims were similar to me, or the likelihood of becoming harmed is low, like its always been,” said Dr. West.

The ultimate fantasy getaway, the movies, is now home to this harsh reality.

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